Bicycles do not need to apply!

We had just passed the traffic circle in Venice and were nearing the 3-way stop sign. A dude in a Prius was reaching the stop sign to the right about the same time. I could see the girl in the passenger seat; she had that look of “He didn’t tell me he would be in his Mom’s Prius. I hope no one sees us.”

The dude saw us approaching and it was clear that we weren’t going to stop as required by law, and the little switch in his brain flipped, as it often does with drivers who observe cyclists taking liberty with the vehicle code as it pertains to stop signs.

By the way, this switch never gets flipped by big tatted up dudes riding Harleys, only dainty fellows pedaling plastic bicycles in their underwear.

We three watched him in amusement. You could see the crazed look from a mile away and we weren’t stopping and he knew we weren’t stopping and the girl knew there was going to be a scene and tried to squeeze into her invisibility cloak.

I was in the lead and we sailed through the intersection, grinning like monkeys.

The dude in the Prius lost his shit. His face turned vermilion, he shoved his head out the window and screamed. Problem is, when you are suddenly enraged it often happens that your tongue gets all mixed up because you are thinking ten different ugly things and your brain can’t decide which one to direct to your tongue, so it turns into insult hash.

This, though, was amazing. He roared in a voice you could have heard all the way to Gardena, “BICYCLES DO NOT NEED TO APPLY!”

The force of the nonsense hit us like a bat and we erupted in howls. He jetted through the intersection, racing by us at full Prius throttle of at least 33 mph. As he passed we yelled back, “BICYCLES DO NOT NEED TO APPLY!”

The girl hung her head and he gripped the wheel and stared straight ahead, pretending that we weren’t there. Problem was, he got stuck behind several cars and there was another stop sign a few yards up, so we caught him easily.

“Hey, fucker!” I yelled. “BICYCLES DO NOT NEED TO APPLY!”

Baby Seal added, “FOR A PILOT’S LICENSE!”


Then we stopped at the stop sign and began chatting gaily, loudly. “Have you applied yet today?”

“No! You?”

“My application got rejected!”

The boy rolled up his window and so did the girl, and you know she was thinking, “That’s what I get for riding in a Prius.”

Of course this became our rallying cry for the next hour. Each time we saw a cyclist we’d yell, shaking our fists, “Bicycles do not need to apply!” People thought we were insane. “Thought.”

Then we started going up Paseo de la Playa and a woman got stuck behind us. She patiently waited two seconds, then gunned it, roaring around us. She slowed to our pace, put down her window, and it was clear the switch had been flipped with her, too.

Red face. Veins popping. Spittle about to launch. And then, the money shot: “YOU NEED A SAFETY HELPER!”

Well, after bicycles not needing to apply, needing a safety helper was about all we could stand. So we got off our bikes and fell down laughing.

Today, Mrs. WM and I were finishing up a coffee ride. We got to the three-way intersection of PV Boulevard and PV West and PV North, scooting up along the edge of traffic. A guy in a Rage Rover put down his window as we stopped, switch flipped.


Mrs. WM and I couldn’t help it. We laughed and laughed and laughed. All the way home.



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14 thoughts on “Bicycles do not need to apply!”

  1. tbernhardt100

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Granted, it’s first thing in the morning, but still.

    Time to finish my coffee and start that application.

  2. Darell Dickey

    Hey! I felt those Prius digs. There’s nothing wrong with a Prius that trading it in for a Tesla can’t fix!

    Best spittle yell I’ve had is, “you have to stop cars!”

    1. I put over 200,000 miles on my Prius, and loved all the stereotypes it towed along with it. “You have to stop cars!” is pretty good. Because you do.

  3. Reginald Fleming-Peters

    I’m going to work on my application tonight! I hope I get in. I’m very ambitious.

  4. “Bicycles do not need to apply.” Perhaps he didn’t mean bicycles need not apply because they won’t be accepted, but rather they can bypass the application process because they have already been granted admission. It opens a world of possibilities.

    1. That is an excellent interpretation. He may also have meant, “Hey, GF, I may be driving this daintymobile but I can pick a fight with those other dainty people and win!” Alas, he could not.

  5. You lost me at the beginning. So you have progressed beyond the Idaho stop, which would treat the intersection as an all-way yield, to the “So Cal Bikes don’t ever even yield for traffic at an all-way stop”? Are you that special? Sometimes yield leads to stop. Of course bikes are not like autos on the road, but how much do you want to be a special, different, slightly privileged class on the road, versus being part of the flow.

    I find myself sympathetic to the prius operator here, not the special a****** bike drivers. I can never come up with a pithy comment in the moment. The best I do is “Yo!!” in the moment, and “You Dillweed!” about 1 minute later.

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